Independent Crop Inputs of Alberta partners with BDC Capital to support its growth
TABER and CALGARY, August 13, 2020—Independent Crop Inputs (ICI) of Taber, Alberta has partnered with BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital division from which it received a non-dilutive investment before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment is helping the company sustain the strong rate of growth it has shown since its foundation in 2016. ICI is Southern Alberta’s only full-service, independent retailer of fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide and seed. It also provides agronomy and application services. The company’s state-of-the-art facilities are situated in a prime location between Taber and Lethbridge along what has been called “Canada’s premier food corridor”, in the midst of the country’s largest irrigation farming zone. The company’s sales have more than doubled over the past two years and it continues to expect significant growth in the near term.
BDC Capital’s funds were used for general working capital and to purchase inventory in advance of the growing season. They came in the form of a quasi-equity loan that is customized to meet the company’s needs, including a flexible repayment structure designed to preserve as much of its working capital as possible. Beyond the financing, ICI was also seeking an institutional partner to play an active role in supporting its growth.
“One of the most compelling arguments we saw for working with BDC Capital is the ‘partnership’ nature of the relationship,” says Vaughn Penner, Managing Director of Independent Crop Inputs. “They are committed to seeing ICI succeed. They are patient investors and they will work to grow and sustain their partner through the years ahead. Our rapid growth demands capital and to raise it in a timely way without adding undue risk or dilution was important to us. We also appreciate the business acumen and ongoing input they bring as a trusted financial partner.”
This financing was arranged by Matthew Hanson, Director, Growth & Transition Capital in Calgary, Alberta. “ICI is led by a strong and diverse management team that collectively counts over 105 years of experience providing crop input services and advice in the Taber/Lethbridge region. Their aim is to be a community-driven, locally owned, full-service partner to Southern Alberta’s farmers,” states Hanson. “Given the strong growth potential the company has demonstrated since its foundation, we believe Independent Crop Inputs is well situated to continue to capture market share.”
“BDC Capital is pleased to support our agriculture industry and sees strong continued domestic and international growth potential,” adds Vern Malcolm, Managing Director, Growth & Transition Capital. “Our financing solutions are well suited to an industry that is growing, but that can still experience year-to-year market fluctuations during which patience and flexibility are valued.”
About Independent Crop Inputs
Independent Crop Inputs was born out of the clear need for a full service, independent ag-retail business to be present in the Southern Alberta marketplace once again. With the consolidation of the sector into large national and international players, the local ownership and service had been lost. ICI’s vision is to provide an unbiased, independent and high value ag-retail service to producers in Southern Alberta. The company embraces innovation and works with producers to prove these technologies in the field.
About BDC Capital
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers businesses a full spectrum of capital, from seed investments to growth equity, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who have the ambition to stand out on the world stage. Visit bdc.ca/capital.